by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who previously bought foreclosed properties to turn a quick profit, lamented the lack of affordable housing during Wednesday’s presidential primary debate.
“Our housing problem in America is a problem on the supply side,” she said in reply to a question from MSNBC debate moderator Kristen Welker. “And that means the federal government stopped building new housing a long time ago, affordable housing.”
“So I’ve got a plan for 3.2 million new housing units in America,” Warren added. “Those are housing units for working families, for the working poor, for the poor poor, for seniors who want to age in place, for people with disabilities.”
Warren made no acknowledgment of her history of house-flipping. In the 1990s, Warren, then a law professor at Harvard, made hundreds of thousands of dollars rehabbing homes she bought at rock-bottom prices. As the Boston Herald first reported in 2012, Warren bought up properties on the cheap in her native Oklahoma and resold them at higher prices, including two foreclosed properties. In one instance in 1993, Warren bought a home from an ailing grandfather for a mere $30,000. Five months later, she resold the house for $145,000.
In that instance, Warren invested in fixing up the home for quick sale. But National Review reported in 2015 that “records suggest she sold others at a significant profit without making any meaningful upgrades.”